One of the biggest mistakes consumers make when they are served with a collection lawsuit is ignoring it. Failure to respond to the petition or complaint can result in the other party being granted a default judgment against you. If you are going to respond, you must file your answer within a certain amount of time.
When your attorney files the answer in the lawsuit, it means that the party that is suing you will be required to submit evidence to the court (and to you) that establishes you owe the debt. If you dispute the debt, you should make it clear in your answer.
It is important to understand that the lawsuit may be served on you be certified mail in many jurisdictions. Many consumers incorrectly believe they can stop the lawsuit by refusing to sign for the certified mail. This tactic typically only delays the litigation and it places you in jeopardy of the court entering a default judgment against you.
What does a default judgment mean? It means that the court awards a judgment to the party suing you for all amounts that were claimed to be due. Once a party has obtained a judgment, it can take advantage of several effective collection tools such as:
- Garnishment of your paycheck and/or bank account
- Place a judgment lien against the real property you own
- File a motion to freeze all or a portion of the money you have in your bank account
Additionally, once a judgment has been entered against you, you may lose the ability to dispute the debt. Remember, a judgment is an order of the court, so only the court has the authority to change it. You should confer with legal counsel to determine whether you have the right to file a motion to set aside the judgment. You can also fight the collection efforts being taken against you.
Even if you are pretty sure you owe the debt, there are still valid defenses that may be available to you. Don’t ignore a collection lawsuit – let us help. Our fee structure is based on the type of debt you have, starting as low as $10/month. For a very small monthly amount you will have experienced attorneys working for you. Contact us for a consultation by calling (844) 431-3851 or emailing us at Info@debtorprotectors.com.